Correspondence regarding the answer to S6W-11155: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Under Freedom of Information legislation I would be grateful if I could receive all correspondence and briefings to the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Culture and External Affairs with regarding the answer to S6W-11155.


I attach a copy of most of the information you requested.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide some of the information you have requested because some exemptions apply to that information. An exemption under section 30(c) of FOISA (Effective conduct of public affairs) applies to one small section of the information requested. The redaction is a specific Scottish Government email address used for clearance of the Cabinet Secretary’s electronic box papers.

This exemption is subject to the public interest test. In applying this exemption we have considered that the public have a right to contact their elected officials and government ministers, and to have those contact details easily available. It is also usual FOI practice to release email addresses of senior civil servants and Ministers.

However it is also in the public’s interest to have an effectively functioning government. Private Office staff collate and prioritise papers for the Cabinet Secretary in the PO inbox, which they send to the Cabinet Secretary at this email address. If this email was released into the public domain then it would derail this prioritisation process and interrupt a clear, direct communication channel between the Cabinet Secretary and his office. The public are still able to contact the Cabinet Secretary at his parliamentary email address or through the Scottish Government correspondence system in writing or via email, and the details of these are widely available.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party, ie names and contact details of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Article 5(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation and in section 34(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018. This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202200325272 - Information released


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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